Before Buzzfeed, there was George Washington Carver:
Don’t skip that link. It’s a fascinating read. One more, which I have not embellished:
Amazing historical records, thanks to Texas A&M. Reading about sweet potato flour made me think about turning kale and other leafy greens into a flour or powder.
Kale loves getting massaged for salads, baked into chips, sautéed, creamed, and blended into smoothies and pesto. If you’re lucky enough to have too much kale or chard, turning the leafy green abundance into a powder preserves many options.
Baking kale into chips is the first step. To prep greens – rinse and dry. Spread kale, chard, collard greens, or spinach onto a baking sheet. If you’re using grown-up kale, remove stems from leaves and tear into large pieces. It’s okay to overlap pieces. For kale chips, you’d normally coat with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. That isn’t necessary for making powder.
Bake in a low oven, say 300° for about 20 minutes. Give greens a toss and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until very dry. If you have a convection oven with a fan that can’t be turned off, put a cooling rack on top of greens. Otherwise, they’ll start swirling in the oven when they’re light and crispy. Sounds fun, but it is not. Of course, you can use a microwave to make kale chips.
Put kale chips in a bag and use a rolling pin or fingers to crush into tiny pieces. A food processor would be great. I would have used a mortar and pestle to grind the leaves, but it was nowhere to be found. Those little woody bits above are kale stems. Nothing to get excited about – pick them out. I used curly kale and didn’t spend much time on prep.
Store kale powder in an airtight container. Think of it as a spice (great on pizza) or flavorful and nutritious addition to baked goods. Like mesquite flour, a little goes a long way. An entire tray of greens, baked and crushed, reduces to about half a cup of powder.
Really, what can’t you do with kale powder? For an easy salad dressing, blend 3 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar, salt, pepper, herbs, and kale powder to taste. Green on green. With kale in the kitchen, it’s always fun to see what crops up.